Costco is an American-based wholesale company with a broad spectrum of merchandise. The company operates as a membership-only warehouse club with its retail outlets across the globe. Costco was founded by James Sinegal and Jeffery Brotman in 1983 in Seattle. It is headquartered in Issaquah, Washington from where it manages all its chief business operations.
Soon after the initiation of the company, Walmart founder Sam Walton wanted to merge Sam's Club with the Price Club; however, Costco got the deal and merged with the latter in 1993. The company was later called as PriceCostco soon after the merger of two companies. Although the merged PriceCostco made tremendous annual revenue than the individual parent companies, Price founder Sol left the company and established Price Enterprises as an independent unit in 1994.
In 1997, Price Club was renamed as Costco Wholesale including all the retail locations. Few years later, Costco signed an agreement with Retalix Ltd for installing StoreLine Fuel software solutions in all of its fule outlets across US. Company's operations primarily focus on retail goods including automotive supplies, sporting goods, hardware, apparels, jewelry, toys, electronic goods and health aids.
Besides being a major player in this sector, Costco's wholesale membership in warehouses runs across continents with more than 150 retail houses. Costco emerged as the only company to achieve the magical $3 billion in less than 6 years. With less than 2 million employees on its roll, Costco made it to the list of Fortune - 2014 list of Top Revenue Generating Companies. As per the ACSI (The American Customer Satisfaction Index) Q4 in 2008, Costco bagged number one spot in retail industry division. In 2012, a documentary on Costco was premiered by CNBC - The Costco Craze: Inside the Warehouse Giant.
Costco's ‘Kirkland Signature’ store brand was named based on the company's current headquarters, Kirkland, Washington. The store brand was founded with an intention to sell privatized products on discounted rates so as to gain ground as a trustworthy brand. Most of the products at Kirkland Signature were sold as co-branding.
Apart from the conventional business operations, Costco also provides different technical as well non-technical services based on different niches. From travel operations to financial investments, Costco made a mark in majority of the business industries across whole of the US.
Some of the major services include Costco Photo Center, Costco Travel, Food service, Shopping etc. In 2010, the company signed a deal with Mypublisher.com for publishing books and calendars. Recently they started to publish calendars and photobooks independently. In 2010, considering the Animal Welfare policy and to comply with the law, the company adopted the policy to avoid buying veal from retailers using crate-and-chain production method.
Costco emerged as one of the most admired retail brand with a turnover of multimillion across different countries. International warehouses are designed and implemented so as to complement the warehouses in US. From food courts to hardware stores, Costco maintained the company coherency with a degree of variation in products from both local and international products.